Vagabond Press News - November 2015
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It's been a busy month since we announced Emily Stuart winning the inaugural Noel Rowe Poetry Award. We've been down in the engine room and the printers have been hard at work. The shipping agents were another matter, losing boxes of books and finding them again and then sending them in separate drops like a kidnapper sending back body parts (even though the ransom was paid in advance). But anyway, happy to say the next two Vagabond titles, Pam Brown's Missing Up and Ken Bolton's London Journal/London Poem, have arrived and are in stock and ready for you poetry punters. Launch and title details below. Chris Edwards did an as always amazing job on the design, working with Pam and Ken. So happy to be doing new books for both of them. Hoping they'll both be with us on into the future book after book.

Over the last month, Eliza Vitri Handayani has been busy, launching her new novel From Now On Everything Will Be Different at Beijing Bookworm, alongside Hong Ying's I Too Am Salammbo (translated by Mabel Lee), then onto launches and readings in Oslo, the Frankfurt Book Fair, Manila at the APWT conference where she was joined by future fellow vagabond Beth Yahp, and then to the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival where her launch was one of the events caught up in the series of cancellations requested by local authorities. Most of the cancellations were for events related to 1965, whereas Eliza's novel is focussed on the Refomasi generation. Eliza was quoted in the SMH, saying, "It's a coming-of-age story about people finding their identity as a nation is trying to find a new identity. It's a book about freedom, so it's ironic its freedom is being restricted like this." By way of a good natured protest over the cancellation, Eliza printed a series of extracts from FNOEWBD on Tshirts, wearing a different one each day and we published the extracts each morning of the festival on our website. You can read more about Eliza's goodhearted protest in The Jakarta Post and The Sydney Morning Herald. Even better order a copy of Eliza's novel and see what all the fuss is about (direct from Vagabond or via AmazonUK or AmazonUSA).

Also happy to say the press has two new partners in our independent bookshop network, Books & Belongings in Bangkok, one of the most beautiful little boutiques about, as well as Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop over in New York, one of the best places in the world to find the offerings of independent poetry presses under one roof.

Finally, Jessica L. Wilkinson is reading this Friday at The School of Life in Melbourne. Get along for a great night of poetry, performance and conversation as Jess, hosted by Robert Wood, shares the genius of marionette and Percy. More details below.

That's it for now. Later in December, I'll let you know what's coming up in 2016 from Vagabond. Expect more poetry and prose from Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and Indonesia for starters, and all going well (money and time and work permitting) in April we'll be launching a quarterly journal of art, culture, literature & politics in Asia Pacific.  If anyone knows any angel investors out there, we could do with a hand!

To tide you over, here's a poem by Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, which appeared in volume 8 (edited by Dinah Roma) of the Asia Pacific Poetry series. Enjoy!

Michael Brennan
Dogsbody & enabler


Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta

This morning, it isn’t rain that beats my window. A sparrow knocks its crown against the glass: a wild, soft thud of bone no bigger than a knuckle. It beats against the window with such intent, it’s a safe perhaps it sees not its face but the chestnut crown and slit black eyes of a rival bird. For a moment, the two are one and the same. Incessant knock and tick of bone.Tired of harm, the bird eases out of the mistake, and ruffled hardship finds flutter in him, then song. Already it rustles through leaves, declares its name to who might listen. Already, the moral about struggle. Already the poem that wants to end: that time you mistook tenderness for love, someone was showing you muscle. Already, what cannot be loved is loved. I am telling you a story about sparrows. I am telling you I am in the story. I am telling you I’m not the sparrow. 

You are warmly invited to celebrate two new poetry collections 
from Vagabond Press

Ken Bolton's London Journal/London Poem and Pam Brown's Missing up

Amanda Stewart
Chris Edwards
Ken Bolton
Pam Brown

Saturday 5th December
Parkview Hotel
corner Mitchell Road & Harley Street
Alexandria, Sydney
everyone welcome

About Ken Bolton's London Journal/London Poem:
London Journal / London Poem is an account of the author's thinking and seeing while on a trip to London to visit son and daughter-in-law and to travel with them and his own partner, to Berlin and Barcelona. It is an amusing calibration of self-consciousness, speculation, stereotypes and detail, reflection and discovery. 

London calling! Nab a copy from us here or in the UK/Europe and in the USA.
About Pam Brown's Missing up:
These offbeat, fragmentary yet often discursive poems were written over three years up to spring 2015. In part, they epitomize the absurdities of contemporary materialism. Pam Brown's well-practised scepticism dismantles monumental intent and splices the remains into a shrewd melange of imagery and thoughtful lyric complemented by playfulness. For Pam writing poetry is a habit, a disorganised ritual. Her poetic inventories begin in everyday bricolage. Real things interrupt the poems the same way thoughts and phrases do. You know - the fridge over there, the bus stop, surf music on a radio, a raisin squashed against a floor tile - always backgrounding a connection to the 'social' as the poems make political and personal associative links. Though disquiet is present it is usually temporary - an optimistic wit plays through this idiosyncratic poetry as a kind of placebo. But, in the end, Pam Brown simply lets the language do the work. 

Help us out, share the love, give us a lift directly here or via amazon in the UK/Europe or in the USofA.
How to get to the Parkview Hotel, Mitchell & Harley, Alexandria transport & map.
The School of Life is delighted to announce Jessica L. Wilkinson as the fourth local poet to feature in our series of readings, hosted by Robert Wood.
Held in the reflective quietude of our beautiful Bourke St bookshop, Poets in the Café features the work of one poet per session, giving attendees the opportunity to focus, consider and discuss. 

An uplifting opportunity to connect with a diverse community of thinkers over a glass of wine, Poets in the Café is also an excellent way to get a taste of the literal and abstract delights on offer at The School of Life.

Community Event
Poets in the Café
Host: Robert Wood
Special Guest in November: Jessica L. Wilkinson

Friday 13th November
17.30 - 18.30

The School of Life 
669 Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000


For more information about The School of Life visit their website.
We're so proud and pleased to announce a new partner in our independent bookshop network. From November Books and Belongings in Bangkok has started carrying our books. Established by Suphavedee & Kittophol Saragganonda it's a little boutique for all things of a literary design. If you're in Bangkok head up Sukhumvit to Soi 3, Bang Chak, Phra Khanong, Bangkok 10260 and check out their beautiful attention and care to books we love. Follow them on Facebook and share in their love of books and beautiful things.

We're equal proud and thrilled to let you know that a selection of our titles are also now available all the way over in Brooklyn NY at Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop. They're at 126A Front Street, Brooklyn. Take the F to York Street or the A/C to High Street or visit their website from afar and order up poetry from the small presses of the world.

Like BooksActually in Singapore, both Berl's and Books and Belongings are family businesses tied into local communities. gleebooks in Sydney—closest thing we've had to a home—is much the same, independent and with an abiding economically irrational love of books. We LOVE our bookshop partners. Go visit on foot or online and support them!
Copyright © 2015 Vagabond Press, All rights reserved.

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